Vijayawada

Criminal elements have free run of city railway station

Sale of ganja has emerged as a major concern for the authorities at the Vijayawada railway station.

Sale of ganja has emerged as a major concern for the authorities at the Vijayawada railway station.   | Photo Credit: V RAJU.

Recent attack on old woman on the premises raises disturbing questions

Is Vijayawada railway station, which enjoys the prestigious A1 status, fully safe for the passengers? The answer is no as the station has become a haven for criminal gangs, ganja peddlers and anti-social elements.

More than 400 trains pass through the station every day, and footfall is in the region of 1.5 lakhs per day and during festivals, especially Navaratri, and on holidays, it crosses the 3-lakh mark.

“Sale of ganja has emerged as a major concern. Beggars, some local youth and students, who are addicted to it, are regular customers. Police, Prohibition and Excise wing and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence have apprehended many gangs and smugglers in the recent past. There are chances of ganja peddlers resorting to attacks on passengers or even looting them,” a police officer said.

Police are yet to identify the persons who attacked a 70-year-old woman near Platform No. 8 on June 19.

The woman, a dry fish seller, alighted on Platform No. 4 from the Narsapur-Macherla passenger train. She was attacked on the track around 10 p.m. The victim could not recall what happened.

“She was found naked on the track with bleeding injuries. Doctors opined that she was not sexually abused, but vaginal swabs have been sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory to (FSL),” an investigation officer said.

There about 56 CCTVs in the railway station. However, they did not show the footage of the woman alighting the train and surveillance cameras did not cover Platform No.8, the Government Railway Police (GRP), who are investigating the case, said.

Police identified black spots (vulnerable places) near the track at Rajarajeswari Peta, Devi Nagar Katta, Vambay Colony, Krishna Canal Junction, near Krishna River bridge and at the Seetanagaram PWD Workshop.

Superintendent of Railway Police, Vijayawada, K.V. Mohan Rao told The Hindu on Friday that six suspects involved in blade batch offences earlier, were rounded up and efforts were being made to round up the remaining gangs.

“The Government Railway Police(GRP), Railway Protection Force (RPF) and the law and order police are making all efforts to identify the suspects. The case will be solved soon,” Mr. Mohan Rao said.

Meanwhile, the city police organised counselling for blade batch offenders in the presence of their family members.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 6:33:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/criminal-elements-have-free-run-of-city-railway-station/article28106208.ece

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